The Pfizer and Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines for COVID-19 are highly effective in reducing severe infection among people aged 70 years and above, according to a study. The research, posted as a pre-print and yet to be peer-reviewed, estimated the effect of both vaccines on laboratory confirmed symptomatic disease in individuals aged 70 years or older in England.
The researchers, including those from Public Health England (PHE), compared the rate of hospitalisation and deaths in confirmed COVID-19 patients aged over 80 who were vaccinated more than 14 days before testing positive, with unvaccinated cases.
Data suggests that in over 80s, a single dose of either vaccine is more than 80 per cent effective at preventing hospitalisation, around 3 to 4 weeks after the jab, PHE said in a statement.
Evidence for the Pfizer vaccine suggests that it leads to 83 per cent reduction in deaths from COVID-19, it said. The data also shows symptomatic infections in over 70s decreased from around three weeks after one dose of both vaccines.